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How to Pick the Best Makeup Artist School near Opelika Alabama

Opelika Alabama makeup school student applying makeup on womanNow that you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and attend a makeup artist school near Opelika AL, the process starts to find and enroll in the best school. It's essential that the school you pick not only provides the appropriate instruction for the specialty you have selected, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you start your initial search, you may be somewhat unclear about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both relate to the same kind of school. We'll speak a little bit more about that in the next section. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to choose a school that is within driving distance of your Opelika residence. Tuition will likewise be a critical aspect when assessing prospective schools. Just remember that because a school is the closest or the lowest cost it's not always the best option. There are several other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance their reputation and accreditation. We will go over what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are considering later in this article. Before we do, let's talk a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of training programs are offered.

Defining Cosmetology

Opelika Alabama makeup artist finishing new bride's wedding makeupCosmetology is an occupation that is all about making the human body look more attractive through the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that a number of cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the word cosmetics, but basically a cosmetic can be anything that improves the appearance of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you take some form of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Opelika AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such venues as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have acquired experience and a client base, launch their own shops or salons. Others will start seeing customers either in their own homes or will travel to the client's home, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and work in a wide variety of specialties including:

• Hairdressers
• Hairstylists
• Beauticians
• Barbers
• Manicurists
• Nail Technicians
Makeup Artists
• Hair Coloring Specialists
• Estheticians
• Electrolysis Technicians


As previously mentioned, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In certain states there is an exemption. Only those conducting more skilled services, for example hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Others working in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Certificates and Degrees

Opelika Alabama makeup artist using lip gloss on modelThere are basically two options available to obtain makeup artist training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can pursue an Associate's degree. Certificate programs usually require 12 to 18 months to complete, while an Associate's degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be instructed in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Shorter programs are offered if you want to concentrate on just one area, such as makeup. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training in order that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Opelika AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are available in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of course you go with, it's essential to make sure that it's recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Many states only approve schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will discuss the benefits of accreditation for the school you choose in the following segment.

Online Makeup Artist Programs

Online makeup schools are convenient for students who are employed full time and have family commitments that make it hard to enroll in a more traditional school. There are a large number of web-based beauty school programs available that can be attended by means of a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More conventional cosmetology programs are typically fast paced due to the fact that many programs are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a significant portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you are not spending numerous hours outside of your home or driving back and forth from classes. However, it's essential that the program you choose can provide internship training in area Opelika AL salons and parlors so that you also obtain the hands-on training required for a complete education. Without the internship part of the training, it's difficult to acquire the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology profession. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online program to verify that internship training is available in your area.

What to Ask Makeup Artist Cosmetology Classes

makeup artist applying makeup on woman in Opelika Alabama salonBelow is a series of questions that you need to research for any makeup artist training school you are contemplating. As we have already covered, the location of the school in relation to your Opelika residence, together with the price of tuition, will most likely be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you must research and consider before enrolling in a makeup school. Following we have compiled several of those supplemental questions that you need to ask every school before making a final decision.

Is the Program Accredited? It's necessary to make certain that the makeup school you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Programs accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards assuring a superior curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not obtainable for non- accredited schools. It's also a prerequisite for licensing in many states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Opelika AL employers will not recruit recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon individuals with accredited training.

Does the School have a Great Reputation?  Any makeup artist institute that you are seriously evaluating should have a good to excellent reputation within the profession. Being accredited is an excellent beginning. Next, ask the schools for references from their network of Opelika AL employers where they have placed their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly demanded. Visit rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with area salon owners or managers, or someone working in the trade, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to propose others that you had not considered. Finally, consult the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any grievances submitted or if the schools are in complete compliance.

What’s the School’s Focus?  Many beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, for example hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically broaden into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you select a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your goal is to be trained as a makeup artist, make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited and respected for that program. If your vision is to start a beauty salon in Opelika AL, then you want to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Picking a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are pursuing will not deliver the training you require.

Is Plenty of Hands-On Training Provided?  Learning and refining makeup skills and techniques demands plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is provided in the Opelika AL cosmetology courses you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that enable students to practice their growing talents on volunteers. If a makeup school furnishes limited or no scheduled live training, but instead depends mainly on using mannequins, it may not be the most effective option for cultivating your skills. Therefore look for other schools that offer this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  As soon as a student graduates from a makeup academy, it's crucial that he or she receives support in finding that first job. Job placement programs are an important part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with area employers that are searching for trained graduates available for hiring. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs and ask which Opelika AL salons and organizations they refer students to. Also, find out what their job placement rates are. Higher rates not only verify that they have wide networks of employers, but that their programs are highly respected as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Most cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the Opelika AL makeup schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and find out what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships accessible to students also. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications except for expense, do not drop it as an option before you find out what financial aid may be available.

Learn More About Opelika Makeup Artist Beauty Schools

Choose the Right Opelika Makeup Beauty School

Choosing and enrolling in the right makeup artist program is important to receive the proper training to become a licensed cosmetology practitioner. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to organize all of the responses you receive from the makeup school admissions departments, prioritize what matters the most to you, and then employ that data to compare schools. A sensible beginning in your due diligence process is to make certain that the academy and program you pick are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and answer the additional questions provided in this article, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the ideal choice. And when you graduate and pass your licensing exam, you will be confident that you are qualified to launch your new career as a professional makeup artist in Opelika Alabama.


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